Walk: The Mannie of Bhraggie

Highland | Golspie | Half day walk | ★★★

[On the east coast around here it's hard to escape the Duke of Sutherland's gaze, even today]

The 100 foot high, all-seeing Duke of Sutherland dominates the skyline above Golspie and the A9, and is as unsettling as the more southerly Fyrish Monument is graceful. Its subject, George Leveson-Gower, is a highly controversial figure - who instigated land reform which led to the displacement of thousands of residents from their homes during the Clearances. Attempts to remove, damage and destroy the statue continue almost 200 years after its creation. The slopes below Ben Bhraggie and its monument are criss-crossed by some of the best mountain bike trails in the Highlands, but footpaths also snake up the hill from the bottom - first through woodland, then onto open moorland. Tracks heading round the "back" of the hill enable a longer, gentler return to base.

[Golspie beyond one of the mountain bike track features on Ben Bhraggie]

📌 Walk: The Mannie of Bhraggie ★★★
Start / finish on Fountain Road (street parking), Golspie town centre, G.R.: NC 831001 ///reservoir.listed.stress. Alternatively, to shorten the route slightly, use Highland Wildcat car park (charge) a little further up the road.

▶ 9 km / 6 mi | ▲ 400 m | ⌚ Half a day | Moderate
Features: Duke of Sutherland Monument ("The Mannie"); △ Ben Bhraggie (397 m)
Terrain: Narrow paths shared with mountain bikes (give way to bikes), forestry tracks and good hill path on ascent. Moorland track then forestry tracks and path for descent.

Route & map

Start - Highland Wildcat car park (charge) - Duke of Sutherland Monument - Ben Bhraggie summit - track northwest then east to Ben Bhraggie Wood - houses at Golspie Tower - Highland Wildcat car park - start


Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)

On our visit

Wildlife: Roe deer in Ben Bhraggie Wood, numerous bees on moorland ascent.
Weather: Mainly cloudy with a heavy shower near start, brightening up a little later. Breezy in the open, temperature in low teens.

[Good tracks provide a gentle way back from the summit]

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